A Productive Writer’s Night

Picture courtesy of: http://www.poesiagt.com/2013/01/tipos-de-versos.html

I would say, the majority of us writer’s cannot financially afford to lean back and spend their life writing, no matter how much we dream of becoming full-time writers. And believe me, I’m one of these dreamers, I know what I’m talking about.

I’m happiest when I write. I’m relaxed and in a good mood, smiling, sometimes chatty, and I felt alive and focused on my task when I see my pen gliding across the paper and build a fantasy world, with fantasy characters and fantasy creatures… you get the point.

I have read so many articles about the power of wishful thinking, the power of positive thinking, informing the reader that only someone who strongly believes in her/his talent, is going to be successful at the end. And to believe in ourselves means to not only “hope” to one day become a full-time author, but know that we will become a full-time author. And that’s why we should resign from our job and become a writer who spends his/her time writing.

I try to be a positive person and believe in myself – I dream of being a full-time writer, but I also have to be realistic. My wishful positive thinking won’t pay my bills.

To permit myself to write, to travel, to meet new people and ‘old’ friends, to see my family and to write, yes… to pay my editor, my copyright lawyer, my cover designer, I need to make money. And that’s why I have a fulltime job.

My job is demanding, as is any other writer’s job. Some days we work many more hours than the ones we should because the workload is enormous. So, when do I write?

I am a night owl. Very often I’m most productive between 11 pm and the early morning hours. Of course, I cannot use the entire night to write and then go to work with nearly no sleep. I need to be able to concentrate during the day.

When I come home, I permit myself a break to calm down, get my work out of my head, wash the day off in a shower, eat, feed the kitties and relax. After that, I get up, turn my computer on and go to work. Depending on how tired I am I might decide to type my draft into the computer or continue to draft the new story that’s in my head, waiting to be written.

I work for about four or five hours (which doesn’t mean I have never extended that time frame). Then I go to bed and get some sleep. Three days of the five I work I sleep for about 5 to 6 hours before getting up and driving to my job. Two days a week I sleep an hour longer. The weekends I catch up on sleep before continuing to write either book or blog posts, for example.

From what I found out, many writers are night owls; I’m not the only one. Danielle Steele and Honoré de Balzac wrote in night shifts as well, only to name two famous writers.

I think the time doesn’t matter. An author writes when he/she is most creative. Currently, my workload only permits me to write nights and weekends, but I got a vacation too, and often then I’m more creative than during the entire work year. My biggest writing progress usually takes part on vacation. Also, I guess, it depends on the writer’s preference and creativity. Some people are larks; some are owls. I am the owl.

And then there are the times when I’m unhappy. During a spiritual low like this, I’m mostly unable to write anything useful and keep on typing in what I drafted before.

Right now, writing this blog post, it is 1 am. And yes, according to my plan I should have gone to bed more than one hour ago. But I couldn’t resist finishing the post before permitting myself to go to bed.

I figure there are as many writing routines as there are writers. And this happens to be mine.

Would you like to share your writing routine with us in the comments below? Thank you!

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33 thoughts on “A Productive Writer’s Night

  1. Hi Aurora, Thanks for the revelation of your work-load. People with money often say “It’s not really important…” which is so easy for them to opine, BUT, that annoying word, of course we have to pay our way. My aged mind skims back to the days when – working part-time and the mother of three lads – I wrote when I could. It was difficult until the ‘outer’ work-load dropped off to an hour and a half a day. What a difference. I wrote two, factual books, updated two more and polished off many poems and articles. Bliss!. Now I’m fully retired, I have the luxury of writing whenever my muse is in the mood! I’m sure ‘something’ will change in your life to allow you more time – do hope so. Meanwhile, rest assured you’re accomplishing a lot right now, tiring as that may be! Good luck. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire writers who also hold down full time jobs or even amazing careers and bring up children! I didn’t start seriously writing till everyone had left home. Now Cyberspouse has retired full time I am waiting for him to leave home – only joking! I write at every opportunity- late, late or early. I like to finish what I am doing, whether a blog scheduled or a chapter complete – then sneaking to the kitchen to start dinner much too late or creeping into the bedroom at 2am…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! I am totally a night owl. This past week was my Spring break and staying home was a gift. I was so productive when it came to writing. I even spent some time painting. Wish I could be creative full-time. It’s good for the soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for sharing your preferences and experience Linda. And hello, fellow night-owl. I too wish I had more opportunities to live my creativity. I am totally with you – it’s good for the soul. I feel it too.

      Like

  4. Mornings are when I usually strike while the iron is hot as far as writing. Of course, there’s usually a bunch of “other” stuff that needs my attention and by the time I get done with that “hot iron” has cooled and I have to try and fan the flames as well as my energy reserves. My wife Helen on the other hand is like you. Nocturnal time is her most alive and creative, but she also shares the same limitations you do. Have to get a ‘few’ hours of sleep. Weekends she catches up on the sleep… usually. It depends on what demands have been left over from the week that we have to attend to. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve tried everything. Friday I broke down the hours I would devote to 4 writing projects but ended up spending all eight hours, plus more, on just one of them. I wrote most of the night, taking time to visit with my husband and chat with my 2 kids away in college. Up and at it again. Starting is the hardest part but once I do, time flies and I regret not starting sooner. It sounds like a chore to some but for many of us, when words and ideas flow, it’s pure joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean… sometimes, when you’re doing ‘this and that’ just really quick before you start, the time for writing is nearly gone. I know so well.
      Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

      Like

  6. It is a juggling act, Aurora, and especially for writers who are still caring for families and young children. I am retired, but still have to work to make ends meet and to support my writing habit. 🙂 I find that I work best to write first thing in the morning. I don’t open social media, email or the internet at all (except for the Thesaurus) until I have worked on whatever WIP I have going. That is what works for me. I used to try and get all the social media stuff out of the way first, but that doesn’t work. It is too easy to get sucked in and hours pass by. Anyway, thanks for sharing your post. Everyone has to find what works for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was the name Aurora that first grabbed my attention, but what clinched the matter of “do I stalk this chick or not” was you had both Danielle Steele AND Honore de Balzac in the same post. I figure if someone can make those two compatible and make the post as readable as you did, I MUST follow along…….who KNOWS what comes next?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your compliments! I really appreciate them all. 🙂
      I take it you’re not disappointed finding Danielle Steele and Honors de Balzac mentioned due to their common writing preferences. 😀
      I’m honored to welcome you here.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was a night owl for a long time then after a while, I ended up writing in the mornings and found my focus and productivity was stronger so transitioned to an Early Bird.

    It is hard fitting writing in around life, especially a job that is exhausting and mentally draining. I remember a few years ago I was working full time at an office, working part time in my own business, studying part time for a degree and trying to keep my WIP going. It was agony.

    But as writers we find ways to push through, because that passion is always there, a burning focus demanding to be sated.

    Now I work from home for myself, I (strangely) have less time and really need to be tight with my schedule especially if I want to keep my blog consistent and write as much as I want to.

    It may not be easy and it may not happen soon, but I know we’ll both get to that stage of writing full time 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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